COVID-19 Politics & Lab Testing

$3 Trillion HEROES Stimulus Bill Clears House Will Die in Senate

On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 208 to 199, a new $3 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that includes $75 billion to support diagnostic testing and contact tracing activities to monitor and suppress the COVID-19 virus.

But that more than likely is the end of the road for the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. Weighing in at a robust 1,815 pages, the HEROES Act stands little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, whose Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described it as a “big laundry list of pet priorities” that has “no chance of becoming law.” Indeed, President Trump has come out against the HEROES Act and promised to veto it in the unlikely prospect that it reaches his desk.

And don’t believe for a moment that the House Democrats aren’t aware of this. HEROES is more about bluff and posturing for upcoming negotiations on what would be the fifth piece of legislation providing federal relief to those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. And unlike its predecessors, this bill doesn’t have bipartisan support.

Bottom Line: While a new federal stimulus bill containing funding to support COVID-19 lab testing isn’t out of the question, it won’t be the HEROES Act. How much support such a bill would provide for labs when and if it ever passed remains a great unknown.